Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less
Get heard by being clear and concise
The only way to survive in business today is to be a lean communicator. Busy executives expect you to respect and manage their time more effectively than ever. You need to do the groundwork to make your message tight and to the point. The average professional receives 304 emails per week and checks their smartphones 36 times an hour and 38 hours a week. This inattention has spread to every part of life. The average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight in 2012.
So, throw them a lifeline and be brief.
Author Joe McCormack tackles the challenges of inattention, interruptions, and impatience that every professional faces. His proven B.R.I.E.F. approach, which stands for Background, Relevance, Information, Ending, and Follow up, helps simplify and clarify complex communication. BRIEF will help you summarize lengthy information, tell a short story, harness the power of infographics and videos, and turn monologue presentations into controlled conversations.
- Details the B.R.I.E.F. approach to distilling your message into a brief presentation
- Written by the founder and CEO of Sheffield Marketing Partners, which specializes in message and narrative development, who is also a recognized expert in Narrative Mapping, a technique that helps clients achieve a clearer and more concise message
AWARENESS: HEIGHTENED AWARENESS IN A WORLD BEGGING FOR BRIEF 1
1 Why Brevity Is Vital 3
2 Mindful of Mind-filled-ness 13
3 Why You Struggle with Brevity:The Seven Capital Sins 27
4 The Big Bang of Brevity 35
DISCIPLINE: HOW TO GAIN DISCIPLINE TO BE CLEAR AND CONCISE 41
5 Mental Muscle Memory to Master Brevity 43
6 Map It: From Mind Mapping to BRIEF Maps 45
7 Tell It: The Role of Narratives 59
8 Talk It: Controlled Conversations and TALC Tracks 81
9 Show It: PowerfulWays to Make a Picture Exceed a ThousandWords 91
10 Putting Brevity toWork: Grainger and the Al and Betty Story 105
DECISIVENESS: GAINING THE DECISIVENESS TO KNOW WHEN AND WHERE TO BE BRIEF 111
11 Meeting You Halfway 113
12 Leaving a Smaller Digital Imprint 123
13 Presenting a Briefer Case 133
14 Trimming Your Sales (Pitch) 143
15 Whose Bright IdeaWas That Anyway? 153
16 It’s Never Really Small Talk 165
17 HelpWanted: Master of Brevity 173
18 I’ve Got Some Good News 183
19 And the Bad News Is… 189
20 Got-a-Minute Updates 197
BEING BRIEF SUMMARY AND ACTION PLAN 207
About the Author 225
JOSEPH McCORMACK is the founder and CEO of Sheffield Marketing Partners. Sheffield specializes in message and narrative development, and also provides video production and marketing communications services to help package stories to suit the right audiences. Joe has more than 20 years of experience as a senior marketing executive helping companies develop strategic communications that make them stand apart in a challenging marketplace.
I get several hundred emails per day. I wish people would just
ask for what they want in the first sentence. I don't need to know
their whole life history to make a decision. Getting people to be
brief would save everyone a lot of time.
— Guy Kawasaki, author, publisher and entrepreneur
You could write a book about trying to get people to pay closer
attention and stop getting distracted and interrupted, or you could
help people be succinct. Joe has chosen the better path.
— John Challenger, CEO Challenger, Gray and Christmas
"We are entering an age of infobesity. Brief is your new weapon
to cut through the clutter and stand out."
— Sam Horn, author of POP! and Eyebrow Test
As a military leader, telling a story that's clear and concise
helped me to thrive in a sometimes hostile media environment
overseas. I’m convinced that following Joe’s counsel
and insights has made me a more effective and efficient
— Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV (ret.)
Brevity requires discipline, confidence, and preparation, but
you will stand out, and your people, including potential clients,
will love you for it. Use McCormack’s practical advice -- the
results will astound you!
— Marshall Goldsmith author of the New York Times and global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.